Emily Gould is the author of And the Heart Says Whatever and half of Emily Books, an indie "e-book of the month" subscription service. Her new book, Friendship, is due out later this year.
So, does Sunday begin with a precursor?
Unless there was a party on Saturday night that I was legally required to attend, like it was a close friend’s birthday, I probably fell asleep during the SNL opening monologue. I tend to be a lot likelier to wake up hungover on Tuesday or Friday morning.
Where are you? What's the first thing you see?
I’m in my bed in Clinton Hill, it’s 8 am…ok, it’s no later than 10. The first thing I see is my cat, Raffles, who is doing one or more of these signature moves: swatting me in the face with his claws out, massaging my scalp with his claws, or violently licking my eye socket.
What's the first thing you do?
I go to the kitchen and feed Raffles so he’ll stop torturing me. After he’s eaten he usually gets back into bed for a long peaceful nap in the exact center of the now-empty bed. Often I feel like his morning torture is less about wanting food and more about wanting me to get out of bed so he can have the whole thing to himself. I put on a pot of boiling water for coffee, and while it boils I finish the dishes from last night, or put away what’s in the dish drain, or wipe down the counters. This is a very pleasant and relaxing ritual for me and while I do it my brain goes into that beta state that it does when you’re in the shower and I am able to have ideas.
And what do you consider "breakfast?"
This is gross and I am an ancient old person at 28, but after a long period of trial and error with breakfast that included experiments with oatmeal and kasha and eggs, I discovered that I like eating the same thing for breakfast every day and it is a bowl of Kashi GoLean cereal. It tastes like packaging materials, obviously, but the protein they put in it makes me not-hungry for several hours, and this means I can get work done without thinking about how hungry I am. I am basically always hungry, it’s just my natural state, and often I will be working and I’ll think “but I’m hungry, I’m distracted, I’m clearly not at my best,” and this gives me license to fuck off and cook and eat some baroque snack for the next hour, and then it takes me another hour (or more) to get my head back into work mode. Better to eat the protein cereal, I have come to grudgingly realize.
So much coffee, unfortunately. I use a French press and fill the coffeecup half-full of warm milk or soy or oat-milk (I have various milk fads) then pour the coffee in. I also sometimes add honey.
Do you prefer company, or have qualms about it on a day you can technically call your own?
I have been pretending like my boyfriend has not been present for this whole routine but typically he is, unless he is in Russia. Sometimes if I’m lucky he will cook eggs and potatoes midmorning on a weekend, but more often he has some insane deadline or important meeting or football game (to play, not watch) and generally leaves me to my own devices. I like being left to my own devices but I like company too. I dunno, I’m a Libra. I would not say “qualms” necessarily.
Do you do any shopping?
Ha ha. I am so broke. I remember shopping! That was fun. Sometimes I go to the Brooklyn Flea, where I like to shop for a lobster roll (and occasionally some $3 piece of whimsy, which, I have to stop doing that because my cupboards are getting pretty whimsy-stocked).
What's unique about Sunday?
Besides the fact that I occasionally get up later on Sundays, there is almost nothing that distinguishes my weekends from my weekdays…I teach one yoga class and assist another during the week so when those are both “done” I feel like my “workweek” is over.
So yes, on Sunday, I get up, drink coffee and eat protein cereal, attempt to practice yoga for at least 45 minutes and sometimes I actually do, eat some kind of elevenses, then either write something or if that’s not happening or doesn’t need to happen, I will run errands or go to the Brooklyn Flea or have some sort of sociable gathering with friends. I try to avoid “brunch” which is never worth the wait, foodwise, and its clamorous nightclubby spirit seems to me antithetical to weekend morning relaxedness. I think of the Joni Mitchell song “Chelsea Morning” —that is the feeling I want all my Sunday mornings to have. (Or the song “sunday Morning,” actually —- cass you could make a great Sunday playlist!)
How does the day end?
When I am done with work or whatever I have done that day, I almost always cook dinner on Sunday nights, ideally for one or more friends. Then I go to bed and the next morning I do it all again, except with more of a sense of obligation.